Arts

Sips and Eats: Philly’s best food and drink picks for Feb. 5-9

Bank and Bourbon Now Has a Bourbon Master! 

(Bank and Bourbon)

Move over sommeliers, there is a new spirits connoisseur in town. Bank & Bourbon is proud to announce the debut of its Bourbon Master and expanded Bourbon program. Bank & Bourbon, an inherently American restaurant located in the booming culinary destination of Philadelphia, is pleased to welcome Daniel Kulisek as Bourbon Master.

In this role, Daniel will oversee Bank & Bourbon’s innovative barrel-aged cocktail program and its extensive collection of bourbon, whiskey and rye. At the restaurant, he will work closely with the entire beverage team to craft fresh and creative seasonal cocktails using the finest house-aged spirits and manage the private barrel-aging locker membership program. Daniel will also lead the restaurant’s exclusive Bourbon Tastings, new Distiller Happy Hours Series and highly curated dinners and pairings with some the industry’s most elite brands such as Woodford Reserve and Four Roses.

“Picking a drink to enjoy or pair with your meal can often be overwhelming,” says Dan Rivas, General Manager of Bank & Bourbon. “Daniel will help guide our guests through this process, help to educate them on the notes that they taste and smell, and also assist guests with pairing the right spirit with the right food for a memorable beverage and food experience.”

In order to create those perfect pairs, Kulisek traveled to Kentucky to handpick two barrel selections to showcase at the restaurant. Bank & Bourbon now features Russell’s Reserve Private Barrel and Four Roses Single OESK. Russell’s Reserve is made from the standard Wild Turkey mash bill of 72/13/12 (Corn/Rye/Barley) and has been aged for 10 years. This particular barrel of bourbon shows characteristics of caramel and vanilla, offers up notes of red fruits, especially cherry and a hint of spice making it beautifully well-balanced. The Four Roses Single OESK uses one of two mash bills; the “E” mash is 80/20 (Corn/Rye). Although this whiskey is high in corn, it has strong notes of spice, which comes from the “K.” Also aged for ten years, it has notes of tobacco, toffee and cinnamon.

(Bank and Bourbon)

Bourbon isn’t the only star at Bank & Bourbon. The restaurant menu is constantly changing to incorporate the best local and seasonal ingredients around. Partnering with Chef Joe Thomas Jr., Daniel will perfectly pair the caramel, vanilla and oak flavors that often embody bourbon with Bank & Bourbon’s signature dishes such as charcuterie boards, dry-aged steaks and delectable desserts.

Kulisek brings over 20 years of experience to his role as Bourbon Master. He most recently worked at Square 1682, where he ran the restaurant’s beverage program, overseeing their wine and spirits collection. Daniel has also traveled extensively learning firsthand about different distilleries and the different methods of whiskey production.

So whether you prefer sweet aromatics, green notes of anything grassy, spices like pepper, fruit or florals, grab a seat and let our Bourbon Master do the rest.

For more information on our new Bourbon Master and took book your private tasting experiences, click here.

Bank and Bourbon will also be celebrating 2020’s leap year in style and with extra librations. Stop by the popular and stylish hotspot to enjoy an extra flight. For just $35, guests can enjoy four one ounce pours of special Bourbons aged for at least four years (or increments of four years!) Check out the selection listed below:

Leap Year Libations:  

  • colonel e.h. taylor single barrel bottled-in-bond (50% abv, KY)
  • pinhook bourbon war 4 yr (48% abv, KY)
  • elijah craig barrel proof 12 yr (67.6% abv KY)
  • jefferson’s presidential select 16 yr  (47% abv, KY)

Can’t find your favorite? Ask the new Bourbon Master for recommendations on some favorites available at Bank & Bourbon. Want more? Check out Private Bourbon Tasting Packages here.

This Week in Cocktails: a.kitchen’s February Wine Series

(a.kichen Philadelphia)

Hot off the tails of Dry January, a.kitchen is excited to announce two very special wine-forward events bound to expand your palate. The cozy Rittenhouse eatery will feature local and international wine personalities in a laidback atmosphere pouring the best of the best. Does anything sound better than that?

Alice Fenocchio, the granddaughter of famous Barolo producer from Piemonte, Italy, Giacomo Fenocchio, will be joining us to pour and discuss her family’s wines. The Fenocchio estate has been in the family for five generations and they have had land in Monforte d’Alba since 1894. Giacomo passed away in 1989 and left the estate in the hands of his youngest son Claudio, Alice’s father. Claudio has been managing the vineyards and winemaking ever since and is now assisted by his daughters. The happy hour will consist of the following wines being poured for a special ‘happy hour’:

Dolcetto             $8  3oz  |  $13  5oz
Freisa                  $8  3oz  |  $13  5oz
Barolo                 $12  3oz  |  $20  5oz

The first installment of the series is Thursday, February 6 from 6-8 pm.

On Thursday, February 20 from  6:30-8pm, Wine Tariff Discussion with Sean Faeth will take over the venue with the second installment. Sean Faeth, Director of Wine Sales for The Artisan’s Cellar, will be present to lead a discussion with 8 lucky guests at the chef’s counter about the current and possible future tariffs on European wine. How will the new wine tariffs affect the wine industry? The session, including 5 different wine pours affected by the tariffs (3oz each) and light snacks, will cover how the restaurants, suppliers, importers, stores, consumers, and the winemakers will be affected. Reservations only for this event. The cost is $45.

Philadelphia Auto Show Bites

Start your engines! The Philadelphia Auto Show is back from February 8 through the 17 at the Convention Center. Motorheads are invited to enjoy auto-inspired libations at the below restaurants and bars, as well as close by bites for the crew.

(Side Car at Red Owl Tavern // Photo Credit: PUNCH Media)

Franky Bradley’s: Franky Bradley’s, the eclectic restaurant and bar proudly located in the Gayborhood, is a few short blocks from the Convention Center, making it an ideal spot to grab a bite and a drink. Guests who show their ticket stubs or proof of visiting the show will receive a 15 percent discount on any drinks or food, both at the bar and in the dining room.

In addition, Franky Bradley’s is offering an auto show-inspired cocktail called The Blur ($12). Made with Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, Creme de Cacao, Lilet, lemon, chocolate bitters and garnished with an orange twist, this creative concoction is named after the boxcar that the Little Rascals raced in and is a riff on a classic 20th-century cocktail.

• Milkboy: MilkBoy Chestnut Street is offering guests an auto show and Oscars-inspired special – the Ford vs. Ferrari City Wide. For $8, guests can enjoy a Budweiser paired with a Ferrari shot, made with Campari and Fernet. Located a few blocks from the Convention Center, MilkBoy on Chestnut Street is a quick and easy place to stop by to grab a bite and a brew.

Ocean Prime: Ocean Prime invites car-enthusiasts to sip on their special Sidecar cocktail ($10) made with Hennessy VS Cognac, Cointreau, fresh squeezed lemon juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, simple syrup, granulated sugar rim, and lemon ribbon after or before enjoying the automotive industry’s latest creations at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern, located across from Independence Mall, is offering its take on a Sidecar cocktail. Called the (Spey) Side Car, this riff offers Monkey Shoulder Scotch instead of cognac, a nod to the Scottish Speyside single malt, in addition to Cointreau and lemon juice. Guests can enjoy this libation from new Lead Bartender, RJ Arnold for $14.

Square 1682: Square 1682, located in Rittenhouse, is offering guests its Square Sidecar in honor of the show. Made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Cointreau, lemon, and rimmed with sugar, this classic-style Sidecar is available for $12 throughout the duration of the Auto Show.

Urban Farmer: Urban Farmer, the rustic-chic restaurant and bar located on Logan Circle, is offering their take on a sidecar with A Cocktail Named Desire ($14). Made with bourbon, fresh lemon juice, creme de apricot and garnished with a raw sugar rim, this lively libation is available during the duration of the auto show.

Palizzi Social Club Takes on High Street Pizzeria

For one night only, the coveted Palizzi Social Club experience will be offered at High Street on Market — no membership required. The “Palizzi Club x High Street Pizzeria” event is the latest installment of the ongoing High Street Pizzeria pop-up series which transforms the contemporary all-day cafe into your favorite local pizzeria just once a month. On Friday, February 7, from 5 to 10:30 p.m., beloved South Philly chef Joey Baldino will be serving some Palizzi Club greatest hits, straight from his new cookbook, Dinner at the Club: 100 Years of Stories and Recipes from South Philly’s Palizzi Social Club, co-written by Adam Erace. Guests can expect family-style starters, and of course, PIZZA, alongside Italian sweets, aperitifs and digestifs.

Space is limited for this exciting collaboration, which allows folks to get a taste of the exclusive Palizzi Club experience so many are curious about and score a copy of the new cookbook. Guests can secure their spot for $75 via credit card reservation with High Street. The evening will include family-style dinner and a signed copy of Joey’s cookbook; wine and cocktails will be available a la cart

Weekly Events

Each week, Philly Influencer picks the best parties, events, and social gatherings the area has to offer.

•  Twisted Tail Disteller’s Talk and Whiskey Tasting: The Twisted Tail, the popular Southern-inspired restaurant, bar and live music venue on Headhouse Square, is hosting a Distiller’s Talk & Whiskey Tasting with Old Elk Master Distiller, Greg Metze on Wednesday, February 5 from 6-8 pm. This event is part of The Twisted Tail’s quarterly “Tales of the Distiller” series of panel-lead, live interviews of local distillers accompanied by spirit tastings. Metze will be on stage in the upstairs Juke Joint with a panel of The Twisted Tail Bourbon Club members, bartenders, and members of the media to discuss the craft of his distilling process and the 40+ years of experience he has in the industry. The whiskey veteran will also lead the panel and guests through an Old Elk spirits tasting. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here

• Philly Cooks: 2300 Arena will be the place to be tonight for Philly Cooks 2020. From 6:30 to 9 P.M., you can sample the dishes from the city’s “50 Best Restaurants”, as selected from Philadelphia Magazine editors. From Suraya, to Hungry Pigeon, to Friday Saturday Sunday, and several others, these celebrated eateries will serve up small plates of their most popular dishes at this culinary event.

• Black Tie Auto Show: The 2020 Philadelphia Auto Show revs up and kicks into gear this weekend. The action begins this Friday with the Black Tie Tailgate. The opening night soiree will have exclusive first looks at this year’s vehicles, cocktails, and more.

• Landsdale Restaurant Week: For those in Montgomery County, Lansdale Restaurant Week will be running through Sunday, February 9. Get tremendous deal and sample specialty menus at Boardroom Spirits, Round Guys Brewing Company and Stove & Tap, and other local gems.

Fox & Hound Singles Party: Fox & Hound will be hosting this pre-Valentine’s Day mixer event this Friday night. Come mingle and try to find a love connection at this downtown bar. There will be drink specials, music, food, and more.

 Bucks Brewfest 101: Also outside of the city, Bucks Brewfest 101 is this weekend. High quality craft beers and limited releases will be at this coveted beer festival this Saturday. There will be over 70 different drafts, entertainment, live music, and more.

• All Black Burlesque Showcase: Franky Bradley’s will be hosting an All-Black Drag and Burlesque Showcase this Saturday. This extravaganza will feature several black burlesque and drag artists, drink specials, and more.

•  Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Chaddsford Winery: Chaddsford Winery will be featuring wine and chocolate pairing classes throughout the month of February. Sessions will be offered throughout the day at: 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM, and 4 PM. During each session, Chaddsford Winery staff will blow you away with educational insights on pairings. This is a perfect Valentine’s Day outing or a fun event for a night out with friends.

• Ocean Prime’s Red Carpet and Oscars Watch Party: Ocean Prime is toasting to the 92nd Academy Awards with a Red Carpet and Oscars Watch Party on Sunday, February 9th from 5 pm-close. Movie enthusiasts and fashion fiends can watch the red-carpet coverage and awards in style with small plates, complimentary truffle popcorn, themed $10 cocktails (Par-RYE-site, Berries V Bubbles, Marriage Story Marg, etc.), and Piper-Heidsieck by the glass ($25) or bottle ($125). This exclusive Champagne is rarely offered by the glass and is the sole bubbly served at the Oscars, so attendees will truly be able to sip like the stars!

Additionally, attendees are invited to fill out an Oscars-themed ballot with their predictions for the chance to win a $150 Ocean Prime gift card.

Featured Event


Suits & Sazeracs

On the eve of Mardi Gras, Suits & Sazeracs, the New Orleans-style charitable cocktail competition benefiting Career Wardrobe, is coming back for its second year at Hotel Palomar’s newly renovated 25th-floor Burnham Ballroom, on Monday, February 24 from 6-9 pm.

Attendees are invited to dress up and mix and mingle while sampling unique sazerac-inspired cocktails crafted with Bluebird Distilling’s Rye Whiskey. Additionally, guests will enjoy live music and New Orleans-inspired hors d’oeuvres from Square 1682’s Chef Mackenson Horebe. The NOLA-style event is hosted by Henry A. Davidsen: Master Tailors & Image Consultants and will officially kick-off the premier purveyor of custom men’s clothing’s Suit Drive Challenge to support Career Wardrobe’s mission of providing a professional wardrobe to unemployed and low-income Philadelphians seeking employment.

Tickets are $65 and a portion of the proceeds benefits Career Wardrobe. Tickets can be purchased here.


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

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